Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Review

Do you own a PS3? Yes? Good, now you can play this awesome game. I am sure that is enough of an endorsement for Uncharted 2 but for those of you that need more, read on. Oh and for those of you that do not own a PS3 and are still reading this I can promise that this game is worth owning a PS3 for. Naughty Dog has made a game that people will talk about for years to come... or until Uncharted 3 comes out.

Uncharted 2 picks up roughly a year or so after the events of Drake's Fortune but this time we are plunged directly into the middle of an adventure gone wrong. In the first scene Nate wakes up, looks down, and says, "That's my blood. That's... a lot of my blood." After that you begin flashing back to how you got to this point and so begins another exciting romp in the shoes of Nathan Drake.

We are treated to the same basic gameplay from the former game so veterans of Drake's Fortune or those whom have just played it will feel right at home in this new experience. I was disappointed that the brutal combo from Uncharted 1 did not return but some mini QTE's show the remnants of that system. Overall the hand-to-hand combat will be easier for newcomers because most of the combat consists of tapping the square button and pressing the triangle to counter.

The gun combat is also mostly unchanged. There are no prompts telling you how to do some things that you learned how to do in the first game. A perfect, and the most noticeable, example of this is when you are aiming from cover you are able to click in the left thumbstick so that you can switch the gun to your other shoulder and gain another vantage point. You are not taught this again in Uncharted 2 so it is something that you will have had to take from this review or from the first game. Certain guns also now have a zooming feature and it is very helpful especially when taking out snipers.

One thing that you know about the Uncharted series is how over the top in nature it is. The movie feel of this game is what makes it so fun to play but even in the last quarter of this game when things slow down a bit it still feels as though you are playing an interactive movie. The game also looks fantastic but it is not leaps and bounds above what the first game accomplished.

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You are making your way through game "X" and it has an amazing story, amazing gameplay, and even better cut scenes; the whole time you are playing game "X" you are thinking that this is as good as games get. Then you make it to the ending and you either get a 30 second "ties everything up" cut scene that feels rushed and like you deserved something better for playing through this awesome game or you get something awful that again, just feels tacked on. Uncharted 2 will not leave you feeling like this and I even dare you not to laugh (because we know Nate Drake has his funny moments) through it.

It is hard to absolutely suggest playing a sequel knowing that some will not have played the first game and to those I say that it is not absolutely necessary to play Uncharted: Drake's Fortune but it does come highly recommended. Uncharted 2 is the reason you own or will own your PS3. This is the game you recommend for any player. This game will capture the Indiana Jones fan, the Tomb Raider fan, the platforming fan, the pirate fan, and it may capture fans of well... actual fans. What I am trying to say is that there are a handful of people on Earth that will not enjoy this game and I personally do not want to have anything to do with them.